I read SHNV daily and appreciate being informed of news pertaining to my southern heritage and causes. It is indeed past the time for us to defend our heritage and symbols and to make our "cause" heard. The Franklin, Tennessee mayor’s fiasco demonstrates once again that we can be polite, well-mannered Southerners and at the same time be very effective in our defense.

It is only natural that we defend our ancestors and ourselves against ridiculous charges made by uninformed or misinformed detractors. Unfortunately most of these slanders and charges are made by people who are not amenable to facts or reason; their minds are made up and they don’t wish to be confused by facts.

Why should we feel it necessary to defend ourselves against these charges when the facts are simple and require no defense?

Any student of American history should have been immediately struck by the parallels between the American Revolutionary War and the War for Southern Independence. Many of us have ancestors who fought in the Revolution and whose grandsons fought in the Second American Revolution, the War for Southern Independence. My ancestors who fought, and died, for The Confederacy sincerely believed that they fought for the same principals and causes. They fought to defend their freedom, their homeland and their honor.

In my study of American history I am always saddened by what I consider to be a great mistake made by our forefathers. After we had won our independence from England and were in the process of forming a new nation it became apparent during the Constitutional Convention that the northern and southern states were not in agreement; that they differed on the basic premises of how this new nation should be governed. That split is epitomized by the Jefferson-Hamilton schism and illustrated in the Federalist Papers. It was suggested at the time that our new nation, with it’s seemingly irreconcilable differences, be formed as TWO NEW NATIONS who would be bound by a mutual defense and trade pact but would govern themselves by their separate philosophies and principles. This course of action was rejected in favor of an attempt by both regions to compromise and reconcile their basic differences.

Inevitably this attempt at unity was not successful and the basic disagreements festered unresolved for about 80 years. Fortunately, once it became obvious to all that for whatever reasons the regions could never agree, the solution was simple. Foreseeing this potential problem, when the several states had joined the union they had agreed that if the attempt at union failed any state could remedy the situation by resigning or seceding. During the War of 1812 the New England states threatened secession and probably would have seceded had the war not ended when it did. None at the time, especially the President, questioned their right to secede; in fact many states, when joining the union, specifically reserved, in writing, the right to secede and this right was recognized and accepted by the Union. The State of Virginia still has, in writing, the right to secede and Dr. Walter E. Williams suggested, a few years ago, that they exercise it.

The facts are plain clear.

During the Revolutionary War, technically and LEGALLY, our forefathers were traitors. They did not have a the LEGAL right to declare independence from England.

The southern states, like their patriot grandfathers, were very dissatisfied, for many of the same reasons, but their reasons do not matter. WHATEVER THEIR REASONS, they had the legal right, and many felt the duty, to secede from a government which they felt oppressed them.

They legally and rightfully seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy, with a constitution that was an improvement on the original United States constitution in many ways and which forbade slave trade, something that the U. S. Constitution had never done and, had the 13th amendment been ratified by the southern states, agreed never to do.

After the formation of the Confederacy, Fort Sumter became a fort on sovereign Confederate soil occupied by a foreign nation and we respectfully requested the northern government to remove its’ troops from our soil. Lincoln refused and ordered the fort to be re-supplied and reinforced. This was a blatant act of aggression and war. When the Confederacy acted, legally, to remove foreign troops from its’ soil, Lincoln ordered the attack and invasion of the Confederate States. Lincoln forced the south to defend itself against foreign invasion.

We can argue the causes of secession forever, but to me they are immaterial. The south had the legal right to secede and the duty to defend itself. This was dramatically illustrated after the defeat and surrender of the South when the Radical Republicans imprisoned President Davis and sought to try him, along with Gen. Lee and other leading southerners, for treason. Even the then yankee government had to agree that the south’s position was legal and that southerners WERE NOT TRAITORS.

It is a sad pass that a hateful segment of the U. S. population has always sought revenge (for what?) and has always tended to consider Confederates and their descendants as traitors and the descendants of traitors and I become very weary of the necessity of defending us against this hateful, ignorant assertion. I regret every day that Lincoln did not allow the south to secede and to go in peace. Slavery was, aside from being wrong, an economic disaster and no war was necessary (or was fought) to end it. It ended throughout the western hemisphere without war being necessary in any other country and would have also ended peacefully, and perhaps without all of the rancor and hatred, in the south (see The Real Lincoln; A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, by Prof. Thomas J. DiLorenzo and the foreword by Dr. Walter E. Williams).

We exercised our legal rights, were invaded, valiantly and tenaciously defended ourselves, and were finally overwhelmed and defeated by far greater numbers and materiel.. We were then subjugated and abused by a foreign occupying force.

Much of the abuse continues. And some still don’t understand that we will not allow our rights trampled or our heritage abused? And there are southerners? who side with them? I’m sure that I feel much like my Confederate ancestors; if they can’t even win gracefully and can’t learn or be taught good manners, I don’t give a damn how many there are or how much more equipment they have, let’s fight the bastards again! And let the southerners? who disavow or are ashamed of their heritage, the enemies in our midst, be the first we confront!


Rick Boswell

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